Zetsuen no Tempest – 02

Hakaze instructs Mahiro to return to the scene of Aika’s death, where he uses talismans to cast a spell that will draw out information on his sister’s killer. While the process unfolds, he advise Yoshino to clear out to find his family (and non-existent gf). Evangeline gets the jump in Yoshino, but he uses talismans Mahiro gave him to use magic to thwart her. The two make a deal, and she learns that Aika was Mahiro’s girlfriend. Samon orders his dog Natsumura to capture Mahiro, who takes him on, ignoring Hakaze’s warnings.

Takigawa Yoshino is in quite a pickle. His world – Aika – is pretty much gone. His best friend, her protective older brother, has no idea, and probably wouldn’t take it well no matter how much Shakespeare Yoshino recited. Mahiro pays lip service about helping Hakaze prevent her family from upturning the world, but he’s really driven by vengeance. Mahiro would destroy the world to get his revenge; Yoshino doesn’t think there’s any point to it. But like we said: his world is gone and has been for a year. If the world is destroyed, would he care?

We really dig Yoshino’s stoic but still potent melancholy in contrast to Mahiro’s barely-contained mouth-foaming rage. We don’t even mind him quoting Prince of Denmark here and there (as opposed to some cliched villain) because it’s something he may have read in class or found in the library that resonated with him – Aika being his Ophelia. Theirs was a quiet, secret love, one her brother would never understand. One can help but wonder with all the references what precisely led to Aika’s death, and whether Yoshino was in any way involved, which would be another reason to keep tight-lipped around Mahiro. But between carving up mages and cleaning Hakaze’s garage, Mahiro may uncover the truth – whatever it is – himself.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Kamisama Hajimemashita – 02

Tomoe fixes up Nanami’s living space at the shrine, informs her of her duties, and asks her to make water into sake, which she fails to do. When Nanami learns the famous Visual Kei idol Kurama Shinjirou will be transferring to her high school, she races to class, wearing an embarassing hood, and Kurama is immediately rude to her and plants Y30000 on her. He’s interested in her because he’s actually a crow goblin from Mt. Kura. Tomoe transforms him into an Ostrich, but Nanami is lenient, and orders him to change him back.

Tomoe may be Nanami’s familiar, but he’s no mindless slave, and while he must obey every order she gives him, he still has a certain degree of free will. He can choose how he serves her. He can also reminisce about his past life as some kind of swordsman. When making her wear a hood gets her ostracized by the class – who are a bunch of insensitive assholes; what else is new – he later apologizes with a huge feast in her class. When she ditches the hood, he still has her back, and is able to fend off the first demon that tracks her down since she became a deity.

Sket Dance’s Date was also into Visual Kei, but he was a kind and gentle soul. Kurama is a dick. He breaks the dress code, tries to frame Nanami with theft, nearly runs her over, and wants very much to know why she doesn’t like him. Of course, this all makes sense when we learn he’s the demon, though that he just happened to show up at her school on the first day is a little contrived. Was it just coincidence, or did he plan it? In any case, his ostrich transformation is hilarious comeuppance. This guy wasn’t much of a threat, but we suppose he was never supposed to be.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Car Cameo: Kurama drives (and almost hits Nanami with) a very stylish (and probably expensive to import to Japan) Alfa-Romeo Giulietta.